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The Lonely Silver Rain
John D. MacDonald
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The Lonely Silver Rain (Travis McGee #21)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  2,669 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Keeping himself alive is something detective Travis McGee has always taken for granted -- until his search for a wealthy friend's missing yacht places him square in the center of the international cocaine trade. Following a trail that leads him from Miami's lavish penthouse suites to a remote village in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Travis finds himself the target of some of ...more
Audio CD
Published (first published 1984)
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John Culuris
May 15, 2016 John Culuris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Black Border for McGee. That’s the title of the famed, lost, almost mythical final Travis McGee novel in which John D. MacDonald kills his hero. I understand the avid interest. For one thing, we don’t want the ride to be over. If we like something, we want more--even if it’s just one more. And then there’s the color. Black, the color most associated with death; it would be easiest of colors to work into a series needing a different color for each title. There must be some reason MacDonald hadn ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fittingly, last Travis McGee: entertaining, moving story...

We only recently "discovered" John D MacDonald, one of the most prolific authors of the 20th century, via his last non-series novel "Barrier Island". Having enjoyed it immensely, we wanted to try one of his famous Travis McGee stories, and just happened to stumble upon "Silver Rain", the very last in that series before the author's death. By now, McGee is late middle-aged, but still a macho bachelor able to fend for himself. He promptly
Emilly Orr
May 13, 2009 Emilly Orr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of all the Travis McGee books, this one sticks with me, I come back to it, time and again. How often do we misinterpret symbols we see, how often do we act out of our own pain, not considering the pain of others? In and amongst the typical Fort Lauderdale settings of all wide-ranging McGee books, this one asks us to look at how we communicate, how we interpret what we see. How we reach those who are closed off from us. What happens when we're surprised, what happens when we hurt, what happen ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Checkman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final Travis McGee novel. All things must come to an end and that it true for fictional characters as well (unless you're a comicbook superhero/villain).

In this final chapter of the McGee story there is a sense of McGee growing older and the realization that time moves on no matter how hard we try to hold it back. There is a touch of melancholy, but it is alleviated with the revelation that awaits at the end.

There is some debate whether MacDonald intended this to be the final McGee novel.M
Jul 07, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE LONELY SILVER RAIN. (1984). John D. MacDonald. ****.
In this episode of the adventures of Travis McGee, we find Travis being approached by a friend of his who has had his boat stolen. Since Travis makes living from salvage rights, they reach an agreement that will give Travis 50% of the market value of the recovered craft. This is not a rowboat we’re talking about, but a fifty-four foot yacht that has been custom designed and built for a very wealthy man. Travis comes up with a clever plan on
May 21, 2016 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The story has an autumnal quality. McGee fiddles with little projects, ends a little romance of convenience, tinkers with his boats, and thinks idly of earning more money, not that he needs it. The crop of beach bums du jour--a generation younger than he--are garish and repellent, and his social circle attrites from the natural process of aging. In particular, friends and associates have started dying off. He is tired and worn out or nearly so, and all he has to look forward to is more of the sa ...more
Harv Griffin
Jan 29, 2013 Harv Griffin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: novelists who want to up their game
Shelves: reviewed, own
pic of my copy of SILVER

What I like about John D. is that the writing in the Travis McGee series is consistently excellent from first to last. Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm Series became disappointingly bloated mid-way through the series. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall novels became abbreviated toward the end: Robert B. would write a few words, and expect his readers to know him well enough to fill in the blanks.

Travis McGee novels are not the best or easiest “first read forget me” books but
Oct 13, 2015 Canavan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
✭✭✭✭ ...more
Dave Hanna
Jul 09, 2012 Dave Hanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that I would not have heard of Travis McGee were it not for Jimmy Buffett. I haven't been much of a mystery reader since I was in junior high, when I would consume Agatha Christie books, especially the Poirot ones. But I figured if Buffett was such a big fan of this character--and his author--I should at least check it out.

The Lonely Silver Rain is the 21st and, as it turns out, the last in the McGee series (MacDonald died shortly after this one was published). I have read several o
Dec 19, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Seemingly this was the last of the Travis McGee books, not that I knew it when reading the novel which was effortless enjoyment (apart from an odd coda at the end of the book when up turns a long lost relative.) I sped past the first hundred pages in one sitting, and the plot unrolled in a way that made you doubt it could have been written any better in a thousand attempts. Not that I like Travis McGee much, perhaps because the mental image I have of him resembles Dave Lee Travis, but MacDonald ...more

In the beginning of the book, a friend comes to Travis with a problem: his boat has been stolen and he'd like McGee to recover it. It's a high-value job, one I thought would be complicated. I was expecting a long tale of island-hopping, following clue after clue to find the missing boat. But surprisingly, the boat was found early on in the book, with three bodies inside. The real story starts here.

Drugs, organized crime, intrigue, near misses, and nail-biting suspense follow. But
MacDonald's keen eye for human behavior is fun and educational.
pg 131 As quarry, I was acting much like the persons I had hunted. Aware of pursuit, they do not become more sly. They become careless, random and disheartened. Easier to bring down. They seem to welcome the end of the play, just to find out what is going on. So I was being precisely that kind of horse's ass. Out of control.

pg 155 Communication is a process of interpreting symbols. Words are symbols. In any life we misinterpret more
Nov 29, 2011 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Travis McGee, quests was to hunt for his friend Billy Ingram's yacht "Sundowner" was stolen and missing for three months. While searching "Sundowner" owned by his multi-million friend he thrust himself into an International drug trade in Miami, Florida, and he become their target. Found three dead body on board in "Sundowner" yacht who happened to hijacked it, and was using the yacht as a carrier conveying drugs from Cancun, Mexico to Miami.

Seemingly, one of the body found in the yacht was Gigli
Oct 19, 2007 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the last of the Travis McGee series and the only one I'll include here--though I've read and enjoyed them all. All the books have a color in title, "A Purple Place For Dying" and so on. These books are unlike most other detective type series books and McGee is unlike most other heroes. If they suffer a flaw it is that MacDonald liked to preach about ills of modern society, some times these digressions seem prescient, other times quaint or foolish, other times just plain annoying. They da ...more
David Ward
The Lonely Silver Rain (Travis McGee #21) by John D. MacDonald (Fawcett 1985)(Fiction-Mystery). This is the last Travis McGee novel that John D. wrote before he passed away. There's a huge surprise inside! Travis looks for a friend's stolen yacht and finds the boat with three South American bodies inside and evidence of drug smuggling. One of the South American victim's families was drug connected, and the family comes after Travis to make things square. Travis must find the real killer to get h ...more
Mickey Bell
I read a lot about John D. McDonald in a book about writing. I was pretty interested in reading a book by him, but this one wasn't that great. The plot was nothing to write home about: a veteran crimefighter gets caught up in the cocaine trade? Unless it's Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, why would that really interest me all that much. Aspects important to me in this genre like villains, narrow escapes, worrying about the fate of the characters all fell flat.

This was the 21st and last of his Travis
May 05, 2013 Harold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My very favorite Travis McGee book, and unfortunately his last. This book introduced some very compelling new insight into Travis, and exciting new story lines which were cut short when John D McDonald died a short time after its publication. I am so sorry to say goodbye to some of my favorite characters, but in my disappointment at the loss, I am very thankful for the time I had with them. RIP Travis, Meyer, and especially John D McDonald and thank you.
Nancy Moore
Apr 09, 2011 Nancy Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of this series and loved every one. I read them in order - I always read a series in order, in fact, I'm compulsive about it - because I like to follow the character's life and the author's writing as they both grow. Mr. MacDonald never disappointed - each one is a great thrill ride and they got better each time. Read my review on "The Deep Blue Good-by" to meet Travis, and get ready for some great reading!
Mar 13, 2008 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the last title in a 21 book series. I’m glad I saved it for last. MacDonald was working on a 22nd title at the time of his death, but this book offers such a satisfying last look at Travis McGee that I can’t imagine a better conclusion.
Joy Hale
Dec 18, 2007 Joy Hale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you like Magnum PI
I love reading these...Travis McGee is a salvager who ends up salvaging more than just boats....laid back but capable...a man's man and a woman's heartbreaker...nothing spiritual, but deep...
Mar 15, 2016 Corey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars. He was really good at what he did.
Jul 03, 2015 wally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: macdonald
3 jul 15
#54 from macdonald for me and the last travis mcgee story, #21
if you have only read macdonald's travis mcgee stories you have missed out on some great stories, a pile of them, they all rock & roll, they are as real as it gets and they are a joy to read. only the last 3-4 mcgee stories have anything in the way of "spoilers" in them, and that is the so-called liberal definition of spoiler (billy had a cow. it was purple)...for what it is i imagine it'd be best to read the la
May 06, 2017 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read most of the Travis McGee books in the early 80s; a few of us at work would "discover" an author and we'd all read every book he/she'd written. The Travis McGee books, Spenser for Hire, and Dick Francis books were devoured by us - we loved them! Travis is the good guy that you want to help you, that you know will get the job done. My library doesn't carry any of the books in the series, so I was delighted when I found The Lonely Silver Rain on a friend's bookcase shelf. It brought back suc ...more
May 19, 2017 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first three Travis Magee books and couldn't go on. The featured thing is the main character, who is ridiculously egotistical and chauvinist. So I skipped to the last book in the series, this one, and it is much better, like healed up some with time. The MaGee character has sexually healed himself, I guess, and there is almost some suspense, very loosely defined as being in the room with someone else. He has made a friend in this one, too. I may read the next to last one in the series, ...more
Jan 03, 2017 Dennis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So sad that this was the end of this terrific series of books. I'm really going to miss Travis. Well Mr. MacDonald saved one of his best for last. Enjoy
Pete Hoetjes
Jan 14, 2016 Pete Hoetjes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last Travis McGee novel I read was number six in the series. This time, I was compelled to skip ahead. So far ahead in fact, to number twenty-one, the final novel MacDonald wrote before his death in 1983. This and, I'm assuming other late entries into the series, was just slightly different than the stories I have read from the mid to late 1960's. MacDonald's smooth as butter writing is still present, and no one can string together words quite like him. But he is somewhat subdued now. I foun ...more
Aug 22, 2015 Toni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Travis McGee is hired by a self-made millionaire to find his boat which was stolen from under him while he was on his honeymoon. The boat is found, with the bodies of the thieves on board and Travis is again plunged into murder, Shortly afterward, the millionaire is killed and attempts are made on Travis' life. One of the victims was the niece of a Peruvian drug kingpin and her uncle wants revenge. Travis puts the word out that he and his late friend weren't involved in the deaths and is assured ...more
Feb 22, 2017 KctElgin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McGee got old

I had pleasant memories of Meyer and McGee, but they too have aged and some of the fun was gone. Or maybe their world just got meaner.
The incidental players are still fleshed out and interesting. The last of the line
Feb 12, 2013 Mr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s hard not to find intimations of mortality in a novel you know was the last in a great, great series. THE LONELY SILVER RAIN came out in 1985, author John D. McDonald died in Dec. 1986. RAIN wasn’t McDonald’s last published novel, but it was the last (and 21st) to feature the incomparable Travis McGee. The plot is unexceptional. It involves McGee--who was trying to retrieve a stolen custom cruiser per his usual fee arrangement--stumbling upon three fly-swarmed corpses and getting caught in t ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travis-mcgee
One of my favorite McGee stories and sadly, the last one that John D. MacDonald wrote. I have enjoyed rereading all 21 books in this series this summer and they brought back memories of reading these 25 years ago.

The story brings McGee into the explosive world of drug trafficking in Florida in the 80's and yet it seems it could be just like that today. In a bit of a departure, McGee is on a list to be killed and many take their shot at him....but he survives!

A good story - some wonderful charact
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John D. MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pa, and educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Syracuse and Harvard, where he took an MBA in 1939. During WW2, he rose to the rank of Colonel, and while serving in the Army and in the Far East, sent a short story to his wife for sale, successfully. After the war, he decided to try writing for a year, to see if he could make a living. Over 500 short stor ...more
More about John D. MacDonald...

Other Books in the Series

Travis McGee (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee, #1)
  • Nightmare in Pink (Travis McGee, #2)
  • A Purple Place for Dying (Travis McGee #3)
  • The Quick Red Fox (Travis McGee #4)
  • A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5)
  • Bright Orange for the Shroud (Travis McGee #6)
  • Darker Than Amber (Travis McGee #7)
  • One Fearful Yellow Eye (Travis McGee #8)
  • Pale Gray for Guilt (Travis McGee #9)
  • The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (Travis McGee #10)

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“At times it seems as if arranging to have no commitment of any kind to anyone would be a special freedom. But in fact the whole idea works in reverse. The most deadly commitment of all is to be committed only to one's self. Some come to realize this after they are in the nursing home.” 17 likes
“When you look at pictures of people you know are dead, there is something different about the eyes. As if they anticipated their particular fate.It is a visceral recognition. I told myself I was getting too fanciful and went to bed.” 5 likes
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